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January 19, 2013

Hagel nomination faces opposition

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Hagel may be a Republican, but he gets no extra points from his fellow GOP lawmakers.

Seventeen current members of the Senate voted on the Tower nomination; so did Vice President Joe Biden, who stood with Democrats in opposing the nomination. In the rancorous debate, Republicans bemoaned what had become of the Senate process.

“I find it fascinating to note the evolution of the standard by which we judge our fellow men and women,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “Jesus of Nazareth cautioned us to let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Next came the judicial cornerstone that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Now, however, we seem to say, if it is a presidential nominee, get him before we substantiate the facts.”

Republicans failed to sway the Democrats. The Senate rejected the nominee on a 53-47 vote.

A year later, Tower settled some scores in his book, “Consequences: A Personal and Political Memoir,” calling one Senate foe a “genuine boozer,” another a “bully.” He was promoting the book on April 5, 1991, when he died in a plane crash in Brunswick, Ga.

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EDITOR’S NOTE — Donna Cassata covered the Tower nomination fight for The Associated Press.

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Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/DonnaCassataAP .

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